Historian David S. Cecelski to Speak on Abraham Galloway:
Slave Turned Spy and Freedom Fighter
Historian David Cecelski, who details the extraordinary life of an American original in his book, The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves’ Civil War, will speak on the life of Galloway at St. Peter’s AME Zion Church, 617 Queen Street, New Bern, NC, Sunday, February 3rd at 3:00pm. The program is especially meaningful in this year of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and founding of James City.
Galloway spent his brief life fighting slavery and injustice, as a leader, Union Army spy, and North Carolina state senator. He was born into slavery, in what is now Southport, in 1837 escaping in 1857 by hiding in the hold of a ship transporting turpentine north.
Galloway traveled wherever he was needed to advance freedom and justice including New Bern, NC. While in New Bern he was instrumental in organizing numerous regiments and recruiting more than 5,000 local soldiers for the United States Colored Troops. In 1864 he organized and led a delegation of African Americans from New Bern and Beaufort to meet with President Lincoln to demand civil rights. He also helped organize and deliver a keynote address at the first national civil rights meeting of African Americans in Syracuse NY. During and after the war he held many meetings in New Bern at historic Andrew Chapel (St Peters AME Zion) and elected delegates to national and state conventions.
Following the war, Galloway was overwhelmingly elected to represent New Hanover and Brunswick counties in the North Carolina senate by both black and white voters. He died unexpectedly at the age of 33 in Wilmington.
David Cecelski spent 10 years completing meticulous detective work to uncover this story lost to history. Hosting this lecture are the University of North Carolina Press, New Bern Historical Society, Tryon Palace African-American Programs Advisory Committee, St. Peters A.M.E. Zion Church, Emancipation Proclamation Celebration Committee and James City Historical Society.
For information regarding this free lecture, please contact the New Bern Historical Society at 252-638-8558.